At over 50 years strong, Catholic camping is alive and well at Legendary Lodge. This year, 588 young people attended camps for either 5th-6th grade, junior high or high school age groups, including a high school leadership camp. Four of the six camps had over 100 campers and the other two saw numbers in the mid-70s. These figures are encouraging because so many of our youth spent a week attending daily Mass, discussing their faith and encountering Christ amid a joyful camp experience.
With “Ignite” as the theme, camps explored the ways we can both strengthen and share our Catholic faith. Counselor-led presentations and discussions helped and encouraged campers to recognize God moving in their hearts and their families as well as the world around them. While learning about their faith, they took part in canoeing, hiking, archery, indoor games, campfires, swimming and much more. Many of the activities fostered teamwork and group achievement with a focus on the Christian community.
Surrounding campers with strong Catholic role models is a significant focus. This summer’s counselor team had four returning members and an incoming group of faith-filled young adults hailing from Carroll College, Montana State University, the University of Montana and the University of Mary. Each day at camp is organized to the minute, packing in as much activity and content that a short week can provide. “We have great counselors and a management team that handles every detail,” said Dan Bartleson, Director of Legendary. “Our Caretaker, Ron (Burnett), has fixed every problem imaginable for 11 years now. George Lund cares for a lot of different dietary needs and prepares great meals. Cody and Anna Tredik manage all the camps and operations, and the counselor team extremely well. Fr. Marc (Lenneman) provides a lot of leadership for all of us, advising on the practical and the spiritual, and anchoring everything in an amazing way.”
At the end of the season the staff will go home feeling a lot like campers at the end of a week: tired, grateful and with much to reflect upon having encountered Christ at Legendary Lodge.